Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam has been one of the most dynamic and active members of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), hosting as many as 50 of its events since its establishment 20 years ago, an official said on Thursday.
ASEF was established in February 1997 by partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
The country remains strongly committed to the Asia-Europe partnership and the foundation’s unique role in promoting mutual understanding between our people, said Nguyễn Nguyệt Nga, ASEF Governor for Việt Nam.
She was speaking at the opening ceremony of the ASEF’s 37th Board of Governors (BoG) and related meetings at Furama Đà Nẵng Resort.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEF have been always priorities in Việt Nam’s international integration policy, she said.
Hosting the ASEF is a very significant event in the context of unprecedented challenges facing ASEM and mutual co-operation in the world, she said.
“Members of ASEM have to join hands in dealing with new emerging challenges as the third decade of ASEF begins,” she added.
“Governors of ASEF have to contribute in building a new vision and direction for ASEF and ASEM. It also plays an important role in the process of deeper international integration of Việt Nam,” she said.
ASEF Governor for Việt Nam, Nguyễn Nguyệt Nga, speaks yesterday at the opening ceremony of ASEF’s 37th Board of Governors (BoG) meeting. — VNS Photo Trương Ngọc Thành
This year’s ASEF meetings are being held when historical opportunities have emerged from growing international co-operation and global agreement on climate change and sustainable development, she said.
It is time that ASEM takes leadership in boosting co-operation for coping with unilateralism and protectionist tendencies, she added.
The ASEF Governor for Việt Nam lauded the foundation’s work over the last 20 years, adding that it would continue in the future.
“This year, ASEF meetings have expanded initial co-operation in community exchanges, education and culture to six major focuses including education, governance, sustainable development, economy and public heath,” she said.
She noted that Asian countries have emerged as major donors for ASEF activities in the coming years, in terms of both finance and human resources.
ASEF is also raising financial support from NGOs, businesses and the larger community for its future operations and activities, she added.
Delegates at the the opening ceremony of ASEF’s 37th Board of Governors Meeting in Đà Nẵng yesterday. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Steven Everts, senior adviser, said he sees a positive future for the ASEM even as the world faces major challenges.
“It’s extremely important that Asian and European countries co-operate closely. ASEM is a vehicle for the whole of Europe (30 countries) and Asia (21 countries) to co-operate,” Everts said.
He said Việt Nam has played an important role in the ASEM process, and the ASEF meeting being held in Đà Nẵng signified this.
Việt Nam will also benefit from its participation with greater access to other European market and Asian markets, and through co-operation in many areas including politics, security and education, he added.
He said the meeting, with the participation of 53 countries, was an opportunity for Việt Nam to gain political and financial support.
This is the second time Việt Nam is hosting the event, with the first held under the framework of the fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Hà Nội in 2004.
More than 150 delegates are attending this another related meetings. — VNS